When a child dies, grief can devastate a family. Bereaved Families is an organization in
Ontario whose primary mandate is to provide support services to families who
have lost children. It was initiated in
1978 by four bereaved mothers as a self-help, mutual aid program under the
auspices of the Chaplaincy Department of the Hospital for Sick Children. Their mutual support of one another grew to
welcome and include others who were also experiencing this life shattering
experience. In July 1984, the organization became a provincial body made
possible by a grant from the Trillium Foundation.
Now, Bereaved Families of Ontario has affiliate chapters across the province, all working to help grieving families cope with the deaths that have forever changed their lives. Durham Region became an affiliate in October 1993. With a Director of Member Services, a Director of Public Affairs and a strong team of volunteers, BFO-Durham provides support services, public awareness and volunteer training in the Durham Region.
BFO-Durham Region provides self-help / mutual aid support to
bereaved parents through support programs, group session, one-on-one support
and specialized workshops.
The BFO-Durham programs are distinctive in that all group facilitators are bereaved individuals who have participated in a Bereaved Families of Ontario support group at one time and have received professional training to become group facilitators.
We are the Bereaved Helping the Bereaved
Over the years, Bereaved Families of Ontario–Durham has expanded its range of services in order to meet the needs of the community it serves. See "Our Programs" for further information.
One of the greatest strengths of this organization rests on the drive and commitment of its compassionate and dedicated volunteers. At this time, paid staff, volunteer Board Members and a small group of volunteers provide the front line services to the bereaved in the Durham community and help members in their greatest time of need.
All our programs and services are offered free of charge. BFO-Durham Region currently does not receive federal, provincial, or municipal funding. Most of its funding comes from individuals and special fundraising events.